The spate of gas explosions in retail gas shops located in our neighborhoods is fast becoming a menace in our country. Going through most neighborhoods in the country, retail gas business outlets are fast-rising with less consideration for their safety.
It has indeed become common to see cooking gas retail shops littered everywhere in Lagos and Ogun States and indeed most part of the country. Indeed the gas retail business has become a veritable means of self-employment as some people go into it as a means of economic survival without taking time to know much about the rudiments and safety tips associated with it are.
Much as consumers will readily appreciate a gas retail outlet nearby for easy accessibility of the product, safety or precautionary measures should be the most important consideration. The proliferation of these gas retail outlets is fast becoming a time bomb in our neighborhoods because most of them do not abide by safety precautions.
For example, filling gas should be done in a ventilated area and not in an enclosed area. This is one of the safety tips that are sometimes not followed, as the gas becomes weak in a ventilated area as against getting concentrated in an enclosed area. This, therefore, reduces the tendency for any accident.
Also, most retail dealers do not know that they ought to chain their gas cylinders in a safe and ventilated area instead of locking them up in a shop. Safety precautions at home should be that burners are adequately serviced, while the condition of the cylinder should be monitored to ensure it doesn’t leak, amidst other safety tips and regulations.
The Government through its regulatory agencies should ensure that safety tips are maintained by retailers always and are not compromised. The Gas retailers should be well trained and their licenses should be reviewed periodically, while they also ensure regular visitations to their business premises to ascertain the level of compliance to safety regulations.
The government should also make sure that gas retailers undergo routine training from time to time to know the latest development of safety tips. Those who violate safety regulations should be sanctioned and their license is withdrawn.
The Standard Organisation of Nigeria should ensure that the quality of cylinders sold to the public is of optimum quality and should, therefore, comb cylinders retail shops for fake and substandard cylinders.
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In all, the Government should encourage small retail gas business owners within small neighborhoods to pull resources together and establish a standard and well-managed retail outlet in a safe corner of the neighborhood to discourage unnecessary proliferation.